Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to grant the status of “state fair” to the upcoming festival of Deepotsav in Ayodhya. It has decided to sanction a budget of Rs 1.33 crore to organise the event.
In a cabinet meeting chaired by CM Yogi Adityanath, the government also decided to run an audit of the entire event, including the tableaux, in order to stop the misuse of state funds. A budget of Rs 132.7 lakh has been sanctioned for the same.
The three-day Deepotsav is celebrated in Ayodhya during Diwali. The city is decorated with lights, earthen Diyas and artists are invited from all over the nation to display their art.
The Uttar Pradesh government plans to light 5.5 lakh Diyas in the festival which will be celebrated on October 26, a day before Diwali.
— Government of UP (@UPGovt) October 23, 2019
Minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma informed the media that the proposal to declare Deepotsava a state festival was given by the Ayodhya district magistrate (DM) twice in the past, on January 15 as well as July 3.
The Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Srikant Sharma said: “At present, the Deepotsava is organised by state Tourism Department, but considering the international stature of the fair, the Chief Minister has announced to make it a state fair for its successful organisation,” adding the management of the event would be under the District Magistrate. He informed that the Ayodhya district magistrate (DM) has twice in the past given a nod to the proposal of granting “state fair” status to this festival.
Sharma furthered that “The expenses will be borne by the government as per the availability of the funds. A notification for the same has been approved by the Cabinet. The Chief Minister has also ordered that an audit of the event, including the tableaux, will be conducted in order to ensure that there is no misuse of funds.”
Last year too, Deepotsav was celebrated in Uttar Pradesh with great zeal and grandiosity. Three lakh ‘Diyas’ were lit on the banks of holy river Saryu to create a new world record. All prominent buildings, temples and ghats in the city were decorated while many cultural programmes were organised for the grand event. The first lady of South Korea was the chief guest on the occasion.
Yogi Adityanath had started the grand official Diwali celebrations in Ayodhya in 2017. In that year, the Sarayu ghat and the temples were all lighted with 1.5 lakh Diyas to mark the Hindu festival of lights.
Note: The above report has been updated with UP government’s press release on the Deepotsav sanction.